Confirming what has been written earlier in this blog, Lattelekom's network division head Valdis Vancovics confirmed that the incumbent fixed line operator has asked the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission to use some 450 MHz frequencies for rural, fixed-mobile CDMA-450 solutions. He said these would be implemented starting in 2006 as part of Lattelekom's modernization plan, adopted during the summer, to finish modernizing remaining 10 % of Latvia's network that does not have full digital services.
Vancovics says he hopes Lattelekom can cooperate with mobile operators Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT), Tele2 and newcomer Triatel, as well as the Latvian Radio and Television Center, for base station, tower and other infrastructure deployment.
Services that Lattelekom hopes to offer to remote rural customers include basic voice telephony and internet at speeds initially up to 150 kbps (slightly higher than Lattelekom's basic, wireline CityInternet service).
Lattelekom's application for frequency allocation, filed last week, will be processed in a month.
An intriguing rumor is that the State Information Network Agency (VITA) is also looking into CDMA-450. This may be part of the ongoing plans to start a rival, state-owned operator to Lattelekom by merging the networks of four state-owned entities (see earlier posts).